A wonderful western novella collection, set in the wonderful state of Wyoming!
The Gerhard Sisters journey to Wyoming as mail-order in hopes of finding a place to start over, and a chance at love?
Evelyn surprises her perspective husband by not telling him that she has a son from her previous marriage, but he might just have a secret of his own. Jane has always struggled with being, in her own personal opinion, the plainest of the sisters. Harrison, her husband-to-be, is working hard to make a go of his ranch, and prove to his father that he can make it on his own. Will he take the time to notice the woman, who may be able to make his dream a reality? Gwendolyn arrives to find that her supposed perspective husband is dead, but marrying her wasn't what the deceased had in mind...he was hoping she'd marry someone else! Emmeline meets her husband while his house is going up in flames! But that isn't the first surprise that awaits Emmeline...
I loved how in this collection of novellas all of the stories were occurring simultaneously, and so all of the sisters didn't know what was going on with their siblings. Each of the stories was engaging, and I loved each of the stories and the sisters, the characters were all well developed and I loved how resourceful each of the sisters were. I loved the uniqueness of each of the sisters' situations, that had touches of humor to them and I loved the fun side characters!
Overall, I loved this novella collection! Sagebrush Knights had all of my favorite things in it, cowboys, Wyoming, and mail-order brides, add that to stellar character developement, wonderful plotlines, and terrific storytelling, and that pretty much sums up how much there was that I loved about this book :) And one of the things that I thought that Ms. Vetsch handled amazingly well was how each of the stories fit into the length of the story, the characters used the time that they had together well, I loved watching their relationships grow. A novella collection, that just might be my new favorite!
I received this ebook from Netgalley in return for an honest review. Thank you!
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Review 2 for Sagebrush Knights - eBook
Date:March 6, 2013
The book moves quickly and keeps your curiosity going as each bride meets her mate. These stories remind you that it's not always finding the right person as much as being the right person, and working at your relationship.
Another fun Romancing America book. The four stories all written by the same author follow four sisters who where evicted from their home out East after their fathers death. The oldest sister Evelyn helps to arrange marriages for all of them and they head West to meet their grooms and start a new life. Yet things do not go as planned for any of the sisters but God has a plan for all of them.
I very much enjoyed this book. It seems like these books get better and better.
What I liked: I thought the four stories rolled together very well. I liked how the author told each story. Each sister was dropped off at the grooms home a quick wedding was done and the remaining sisters left and we follow that sister. She does this for all four sisters and it worked really well. The final story then wrapped it all together which really made it feel more like a novel then short stories. I also liked all four sisters a lot as well as the husbands just an over all good book.
What I did not like: I have started to rate short story books a little different as I don’t expect the plot to be as well developed as a regular novel due to the short nature of each story. There was a time or two though while I was reading this book I thought maybe the storyline was a little to short but not to bad.
Over all I really liked this book and felt each sister could have had her own novel. I also liked how the author worked the spiritual aspect of the story into each sisters tale. I was a little sad to see this book end but I liked the ending and how the author wrapped it up. This is a very enjoyable historical romance collection and I highly recommend it.
Motherless for many years, life for the four Gerhard sisters of Seabury, Massachusetts, changed abruptly when their father died in 1874. He’d been a professor of medieval history with a home provided for his family by his college. With their father gone, the four sisters are homeless and penniless. Together they come up with the idea to advertize themselves as mail-order brides with the stipulation they all marry men from the same western town so they’ll be neighbors and still able to count on each other for support. When the answer comes from Wyoming territory, with fares for each sister, they head west tp seek out the Sagebrush Knights in shining armor that have spoken for their hands, just like the tales of the middle ages their father had regaled them with. Preacher meets the women and says he will deliver them all, marrying each as he gets to her new home. Yes, each man calls Sagebrush home, but the ranches are hours’ rides apart, and Preacher is a busy man with a funeral to perform at the end of the day when the four weddings are done.
“Knight and Day” is the story of the eldest sister, Evelyn, who had told her prospective husband that she was a widow. She sort of forgot to mention she had a son, Jamie, whose father had died in the Civil War. To her shock, she discovers Gareth has a similar secret in a wild prepubescent daughter, Maddy. While Gareth willingly hands control of Maddy to Evelyn, she is very reluctant to entrust Jamie to him. She wants to protect him and continue to raise him a scholar as she’d begun, but Jamie quickly falls for the cowboy life. What will it take for Evelyn to trust Gareth? Or the bigger issue, what will it take for Evelyn to trust that God is in control of all of them?
In “Lady in Waiting,” Jane discovers her new home is in a soddy and her new husband works long hours in his fixation on becoming a successful rancher. When Jane inadvertently discovers challenging letters from Harrison’s father, including photos of a beautiful woman who’d apparently intended to marry her husband, she feels like a pawn in a game. How will this Plain Jane believe her worth?
The third sister’s story is called “Shining Armor.” When Gwendolyn arrives at Zebulon Parker’s house, she discovers he’s been dead for two weeks and–more shocking, if possible–a grandfather. Preacher figures Matthew will marry Gwendolyn instead, even though the young rancher didn’t even know Granddad had ordered a bride and wanted nothing to do with the scheme. Matthew’s sister Bethany rolls onto the verandah in a wheelchair and Gwendolyn immediately goes to the teenager’s side to help her. Finally a deal is struck. Preacher refuses to take Gwendolyn with him today, but she can stay as Bethany’s companion until the circuit preacher’s next visit when Matthew will pay her fare back East. But Gwendolyn has no intention of leaving. How can she convince Matthew to marry her in only six weeks?
“On a White Charger” tells the tale of the most romantically inclined sister, Emeline. She’d dreamt of her cowboy, her knight on a white charger set to protect her on the open range. What she arrives to is a house burning down and a man refusing to go after the men who’d started the fire. Even worse, if possible, is discovering he runs sheep, not cattle. Emeline is having none of this nonsense, but Preacher isn’t taking her along, so she has no choice but to marry the shepherd. With no house to live in, she also has no choice but to join him and his hands as they move across the rangeland in a covered wagon, suffering insults and threats from the cattlemen and trying to find a reason to respect the man she is wedded to.
Each of the four novellas in Sagebrush Knights is a delightful mail-order-bride story with unique twists of its own. If you enjoy this trope–and I do–you’re sure to love this entire collection.
Sagebrush Knights by Erica Vetsch Four-In-One Collection Four sisters travel from Seabury, Massachusetts to Sagebrush, Wyoming Territory to start new lives. The home they lived in belonged to the school their father taught at, when he passed they lost their home. They put an ad out to be mail-order brides as long as they could stay near to each other. Imagine marrying someone within a half hour of meeting them. Barely knowing more about the person than their age and occupation. And considering these girls have an impatient preacher to deal as he delivers each one to the home of their grooms. Here are their stories.
Knight and Day Widow Evelyn Gerhard Standford is the oldest of the four. She planned on being near the sisters she had helped raise since she was ten. She didn’t expect that they would go to ranches that weren’t close at all or that she was gaining a wild daughter to tame. Her controlled life was suddenly pulled out from under her.
Gareth Kittrick was more nervous about getting married the second time around. Maybe because it happened so fast, maybe because he didn’t know much about the woman besides that she was a widow. He was pleased to find her pleasant to look at and surprised to find out she had a son, a very citified son. Well that would change soon enough.
This is an enjoyable story as we watch the struggles of Evelyn trying to let go of her son so he can become a young man and her struggles to turn Mad Dog Maddie into a young lady. And all the while holding onto her heart so she wouldn’t love and be hurt again.
Lady-in-Waiting Jane Gerhard is the second oldest sister and the next one to be dropped off at a ranch in the middle of nowhere with a quick ceremony from the grouchy Reverend Cummings. Then left in tears as she watches her two younger sisters depart to start their own lives, without her or Evelyn. Believing she is just a Plain Jane, she’s not surprised when her husband takes off to who knows where for the rest of the day, their wedding day. Can she trust this marriage is God’s leading?
Harrison Garvey didn’t want to live under his father’s thumb in Ohio. He wanted his own land and loves his life. He needs to prove to his father he can succeed on his own. And now he has a wife as well, not the socialite his father wanted him to choose but a wife all the same. Did he do right by pulling this woman into his battle against his father?
Shining Armor Gwendolyn Gerhard arrived at her new home. She was pleased to see she had a beautiful two story wood home with a picket fence around it as her new home. She couldn’t be happier until she found out her supposed intended had passed on and she was unwanted here. It was finally agreed that she would stay the six weeks until Reverend Cummings returned this way.
Matthew Parker was holding a grudge against the woman because of his dad’s second wife who was from the east and had been bad to the bone. Even though the beauty was working hard in the home and taking good care of his young disabled sister, Betsy, he still wouldn’t trust her. How could he want her gone so badly and his heart hurt at the thought of her leaving?
On a White Charger Emmeline Gerhard is the last sister to be dropped off at her new home and with her soon to be new husband. She was ready for her adventure to the West. After reading dime novels she knew all about cowboys and round-ups. She was ready to learn to ride, she wasn’t so ready to find out her dreams had been shattered. She didn’t marry a cattle rancher….he was a sheepherder. The most hated creatures by other ranchers. What would she do now?
Joseph Barrett was suppose to be having the best day of his life when his new bride arrived. Instead everything was going wrong. Especially when his new bride went on and on how she was excited about cowboys and cattle. If she’d let him get a word in edgewise he could tell her what he was, obviously someone she didn’t really want.
Another heartwarming story to add to this collection. Emmeline had to overcome her loss of what she thought she wanted and also facing that her new husband seemed to be a coward. People aren’t always what they seem or there are deeper reasons for the way they react.
Erica pulls the four stories together in the epilogue to give a last minute glimpse at the four sisters and their new happiness. Really enjoyable stories that brought the emotions of the characters to the surface and through the pages. **Received through NetGalley for review